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10 Rules of the Road for KM Success

Produced by Steve Nathans-Kelly

At KMWorld Connect 2021, Jay Liebowitz, author of A Research Agenda for Knowledge Management and Analytics, outlined his 10-step recipe for successful KM initiatives.

According to Liebowitz, the first is: Make sure you have a senior champion and align your KM strategy with your organizational strategy, goals, and objectives. And, second, make sure you develop a well-designed KM implementation plan, looking at people and culture and process and technology. Liebowitz noted there are two main reasons why KM efforts fail. "The first is misalignment of the KM strategy with the organization's strategic mission and goals. And the second is just having a poorly developed team implementation plan."

Liebowitz's third step is to develop a formal knowledge retention strategy, and start from day one of the employees lifespan with the organization. "Actually I've been doing some work with the U.S. Navy over the past two summers, looking at knowledge retention and developing appropriate SOPs. And, again, we have to start early in the process of an employee's tenure with the organization, otherwise a lot of that might be lost." Fourth,  incorporate KM as part of your existing strategies so it's not a standalone effort. Many organizations have done this, whether under the HR side or workforce development or strategic planning or quality management, he explained. And, fifth, said Liebowitz, try to be very thoughtful in your approach. "Of course, I'm an academic but, you know, we try to be very conservative and applying appropriate methods to ensure that we're getting the best outcomes."

Liebowitz's sixth step is to align your approaches to fit your organizational culture. "So. again, make sure you have that proper alignment. You want to celebrate the successes and bring in the bittersweet stories. And you want to also think about having the right metrics. There are system output and outcome measures. You really want outcome measures. As a professor, I'm not so interested in teaching outcomes. I want to know about student learning outcomes." And, ninth, don't force-fit the technology. "If you only know a hammer as your  tool, then every problem looks like a nail. So, you know, make sure you don't force-fit technology to your problem. And then, lastly, for me, KM is just one part of your strategic intelligence."

Save the Date for KMWorld 2022—November 7–10, 2022—JW Marriott | Washington, DC!

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